Air New Zealand has extended its hold on new bookings for international services into New Zealand until July 29.

The carrier initially announced its pause on new international bookings on July 7 following a request from New Zealand’s government.

The move is to help ensure the country is able to continue to provide quarantine accommodation for inbound passengers for the required 14-day period amid the coronavirus crisis.

Air New Zealand chief executive officer Greg Foran says the airline continues to work closely with the Government to support efforts to contain Covid-19 at the border.

“We recognise we play an important part in supporting the Government and New Zealand’s fight against Covid-19.

“We have extended a hold on new bookings until 29 July, to ensure we comply with the rolling 14-day quota. Following this there is capacity for Kiwis to book flights to return home and we will continue to manage this going forward.”

The airline says if customers have a flight booked to New Zealand and no longer wish to travel “they are encouraged to let the airline know to free up space for other returning New Zealanders”.

The carrier also says that there may be a “small number of customers” who will need to be moved to other flights, and the airline will contact any affected customers.

Outbound Air New Zealand services from New Zealand to international ports are not affected by the restrictions. Domestic services are also not impacted.

New Zealand moved to Alert Level 1 in June, the lowest level in its four-tier alert system. Under Alert Level 1, borders remain closed to foreign nationals.

New Zealand citizens and residents may return to the country but will be subject to restrictions upon entry, according to New Zealand’s government. All people arriving in New Zealand are required to undergo either quarantine or managed isolation for 14 days, according to the New Zealand government’s website.